New ferry for Scattery Island tours this year

New ferry for Scattery Island tours this year

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

Six times as many tourists can now experience the hidden gem that is Scattery Island as Scattery Island Tours has secured a new 70 passenger ship for its daily trips to the monastic island.   

Following on the success of its first season which saw a significant growth in visitor numbers, the company has invested in a larger ferry, having run a 12 passenger boat last year.

The new catamaran ferry, named “An Breandán” represents a further investment in tourism in West Clare and reflects the growing interest in Island visits by both domestic and international tourists.

Scattery Island Tours was founded by Irene Hamilton in May 2017. Ms. Hamilton has close ties to the island as her father, Brendan Griffin was born and grew up there.

This emerging new tourist destination saw over 300% growth in visitor numbers last year and following its recent award as Ireland’s European Destination of Excellence for 2017, the numbers are expected to continue to grow significantly over the coming years.

The island is now ranked at No. 4 on “Trip Advisors Top Things To Do” in Co. Clare, sitting  just behind Clare’s prestigious Cliff’s of Moher and Kilkee cliffs.

Photo: Eamon Ward

Last week, the new ship had its inaugural sailing to the island with representatives from Fàilte Ireland and a group of International Tour Operators.

Commenting on the new vessel, Irene Hamilton said: “This new ferry will ensure that we can manage growing visitor numbers over the coming years and continue to position Kilrush and West Clare as a family friendly tourist destination, for both domestic and international tourists, further enhancing the development of the local economy. The vessel was partially funded by the LEADER grant tourism programme and we are very grateful for the support received from LEADER aided by the Clare Local Development Company (CLDC)”.

“The new ferry is also designed to facilitate wheelchairs and Kilrush Marina offers full wheelchair access to the vessel for sailing departing from there. The company plan to develop a range of disability cruise options around Scattery island later this season” she added.

Scattery Island Tours will commence its scheduled service to the island from Sunday April 29th and full details on the summer schedule can be found on their website www.scatteryislandtours.com. See the schedule here.

 

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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